Mic check. 1, 2…1, 2. Ladies and gentleman, can I have your attention please? Many writers struggle with knowing how to write an attention grabber in their blogs, speeches, or even social media captions. Whatever it is that needs to be written deserves a good attention grabber if it’s going to ring successful.
An attention-grabber is a ‘startling statement’ in the beginning of your work that catches your reader’s desire to continue reading. It’s the intro of a writing piece where that “gotcha” moment occurs. Some writers are skilled in writing headlines that are attention grabbers. So, if you are learning how to be a better writer, you should master the art of writing quality attention grabbers. It’s important to know how to write an attention grabber because otherwise, your words will get drowned out by every other voice inside of readers’ heads.
We are living in an age of media and content overload. That’s why knowing how to write an attention grabber is even more important today. SEO and keyword research will help get people in the door, but your attention-grabber is what keeps your customers in the store.
There are many ways to go about hooking your reader in. You can go informational, comical, emotional, and many more. It all depends on your personal writing style. Here are various types of attention grabbers that can be used in your writing:
- Eye-Opening Statistic
- Life Motto
- Rhetorical Question
- Guarantee/Promised Exchange
- Hypothetical Scenario
- Guided Imagery
Tip: Some of these attention-grabber types, though highly common and successful, can be considered cliches. If your attention grabber feels contrived, do without or re-write it.
Attention-Grabber Examples and Definitions
You might be wondering how to write an attention grabber in practice. Here are some examples of attention grabbers for speeches or articles to get you started:
The Rhetorical Question
For example, you may have seen the rhetorical question used once or twice. “Are you trying to learn new recipes,” or “Do you have what it takes to be a master cook? Don’t wait for tomorrow. Learn today!”
Don’t overuse this type of attention-grabber because they can easily become cheap or corny if used for every article or speech.
Openers like these are fair to use. However, they have become so overused that it now carries a form of satire in connotation.
An example of a hypothetical scenario can begin like this: “What if I told you…”. It’s convenient. Harmless. Just a tad easy. Use hypothetical scenarios modestly in your writing and speeches.
This is one of the top attention-grabbers that we use at InspireFirst. We often combine the guarantee with a question that states the problem we intend to solve in the article. Sometimes we ask a rhetorical question. Peep how we begin our 3×3 writing process article:
Are you fed up with writer’s block?
Does it take you forever to write a single blog post?
Have you considered the 3×3 writing process?
If you desire a proven blog writing process that will help you become a more organized and productive writer, then you’re reading the right article.
Writers make good connections with their reader by using anecdotes or catchy stories. Finding strong anecdotal attention-grabbers work well when there’s a purpose behind the story, a reason it’s being told. A good story-teller always remembers to bring it full circle, closing the story with a light to the main point of the piece. It should be good, short, and to the point. A good anecdote can be the most effective type of attention-grabber because they can be relatable and easy to remember.
The guided imagery angle is a capturing attention-grabber from phrase to phrase. The intention is to use strong words that describe a particular scene or moment. A balanced array of adjectives come in handy for this approach. Here’s an example of a guided imagery opener:
You pop open your car door, and sit in your driver seat. As you sit you hear the crinkle of an empty plastic bag of chips. You kick an empty water bottle as you attempt to place your foot on the brake pedal. Ironically, you need to put your new water bottle away in the cup holder and as you do, you notice french fry crumbs and random junk in the center deep cup holders. I know you can’t take it anymore. You know what you need to do; your car interior’s a mess. Let’s walk you through how to give your car a proper cleanout with this checklist.– John Doe
Sometimes numbers can get a reader’s attention. Just the right statistic can hook in a reader and help them commit to reading the rest of your article or listening to the rest of your speech. Here is an example of an eye-opening statistic from our article about blog post images (notice the attribution via the link):
“According to blog reader statistics, blogs with at least one blog post image gets 94% more views as compared to those with no visual content.”
Starting an article with a life motto can be awkward. Imagine starting your piece with “Carpe diem” (seize the day). It sounds more like something you’d say toward the end of a piece. But if you find the right life motto, it could be a nice attention-grabber. Something like, “There’s growth on the other side of hardship.”
I don’t recommend starting an article with a bulleted or numbered list. Lists like those need to be introduced in some manner. But something like this could be an interesting way to begin a piece: Steel-cut oats, fresh blueberries, one hardboiled egg, water, and a fresh pot of coffee is the only way to start a day.
“Gregory, run!” Of course this hits me differently because it uses my first name, but it works no matter the name that you plug in. A startling quote puts you right in the middle of the action or gets your mind thinking about the direction the story will go.
If you are wanting to know how to write a good attention grabber, it’s going to take consistent practice, putting the hours into your writing. Some of the best writers are naturally creative, and others are hard workers. Imagine if you had both qualities!
Next, you can begin to write. Once you have decided on which route to take with your topic, align your attention grabber with what makes the most sense with the style you plan on writing. For example, it would be in poor taste to write a humorous attention-grabber for an article on world hunger, where an empathetic and sensitive voice is needed. Make sure that the emotions match up. Don’t throw off your audience.
Stephanie Won Keng of WikiHow says that attention-grabbers help to set the tone and establish the narrative voice early on. Once you have written an attention-grabber to reel in your audience, test it with the rest of your copy. A good trick is to insert your introductory attention-grabber after you’ve written your piece.
With enough practice (and research), you’ll even learn how to write an attention grabber during the zero draft step of the writing process.
Revising the initial version of your opener is the secret ingredient to attention-grabber success. We recommend double-checking that each section of a written piece function . Writing will always be cleaner when the writer is not married to his or her ideas. Seasoned writers must be willing to cut off certain parts that do not flow properly with the overall concept. This goes for not only the attention grabbing portion, but also for the entire written piece.
Studying the art of writing an attention-grabber will pay off for you. Remember to follow up your excellent opener with even better content for the rest of your written or spoken piece. You’ll be surprised at how learning how to write an attention grabber will help you grow your blog traffic while teaching you how to be a better writer. Now, go seize your audience’s attention!